KATY - The honesty of a powerful school district and the reputation of a 12 year old girl, are all that's left of the "God is a Myth" controversy at the Katy Independent School District.
That's because Katy ISD hasn't budged from its claim that Jordan Wooley's assertions were "just not true," according to Superintendent Alton Frailey.
"If I had any reason to believe, or evidence to support, that a teacher did what has been alleged, I would stand with Jordan as well," Frailey said during a public news conference on October 28th.
Jordan's statements to her mother on October 26, the day of the assignment, and then to the Katy ISD school board that night, were based on an in-class assignment apparently intended as an exercise in critical thinking. Students were to look at statements and decide if they were a fact, a commonplace assertion, or an opinion. Jordan' story had three main elements, and the school district denies them all.
1-Regarding item two on the assignment sheet, the statement was "There is a God." Wooley said the teacher told students the correct answer was commonplace assertion, and that the teacher had previously defined commonplace assertion as a myth. That's why she believed the teacher was saying to her, "God is a myth."
2-The assignment was to be turned in for a grade.
3-The teacher was argumentative with students in Jordan's class when some spoke up saying God was a fact. Jordan said the teacher wouldn't accept any answer but hers, that God was a commonplace assertion.
Two days later, Katy ISD announced, that after a thorough investigation, no child corroborated Jordan's statement. The district say literally no child backed her up, and that the teacher had never used the word "myth" in the classroom. But FOX 26 had already spoken to a mother of a child that could have supported her claim. He had the same lesson in an earlier class.
"My son said the exact same thing that Jordan said," Deanna told us, unhappy that her two emails to the district had been ignored.
FOX 26 also found a mother of a girl who was in Jordan's class the day of the assignment. Leticia James says her daughter was questioned and asked to write a statement, on the morning of October 28th, a few hours before the superintendent's news conference. James says she couldn't believe what she was hearing from Frailey's mouth.
"I was shocked because that goes against the account that my daughter provided," James told FOX 26 by phone.
James provided FOX 26 a copy of her daughter's handwritten statement. About #2 on the assignment, "There is a God," the girl wrote, "I put fact. When she [the teacher] looked it over, she said number 2 was incorrect and told me to put commonplace assertion. It bothered me that I had to put that, but I thought it was for a grade, so I did."
James says Jordan wasn't the only child upset about the teacher's insistence.
"She changed her answer from fact to common place assertion," James said, "which now she feels bad for doing."
Deanna says her son also changed his answer from fact to commonplace assertion in order to get a better grade.
Katy ISD has acknowledged it was an inappropriate assignment. Some apologies have been made and accepted. But these parents aren't ready to move on yet.
"It's important to me about the truth," James says, "because the person who's left with the major ramifications of this is Jordan Wooley."
Jordan tells FOX 26 the controversy has made it very difficult for her at school.
"A lot of kids are sending up their middle finger at me," Jordan says. "A lot of kids threaten to punch me. There's a lot of calling me things I can't say, and calling me a liar."
While Jordan is having tough times at school, outside of school she's gotten quite a bit of support. She recently visited, and was commended by State Representative Mike Schofield, and Saturday she will meet Texas Governor Gregg Abbott at the Governor's Mansion. Abbott has publicly applauded her for standing up for what she believes in. But Jordan's disappointed that the leaders of her school district still won't acknowledge that she told them the truth.
"Alton Frailey says he's a Christian himself, and God tells you to own up to your faults," Jordan says. "It's okay to have faults, as long as you own up to them."
FOX 26 reached out to Katy ISD Friday, but the district has yet to acknowledge that it has evidence supporting Jordan's claims. Both moms quoted in this article told Fox26 they spoke directly with the school about their children's account of what happened.
But here's what the district wrote to FOX 26 in a email Friday:
"The school's findings are based on students' assertions, not the parents."
It appears the district is now saying that the parents are lying, too.